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Rita

“It’s a-a-a cave,” says the Cold Man.

“How far did hough.” Rita’s still coughing up rock dust. “Did we fall? Jesus faagh.

“Oh,” he says, and pokes his head into the shaft of light. “I forg-g-got you c-can’t–”

She waves him off and tries to stand. Nothing gives yet. She spits.

“No flashlight,” she murmurs.

“I-I can sssee,” he says. “C-can you see m-m-me?” He steps back. She can, though she can’t see anything around him.

“Yes,” she says.

“Y-you shouldn’t,” he smiles. “Bu-b-but that’s g-g-g-good.”

He holds out one gloved hand, and for the second time, she takes it.

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